Today we're going to discuss flea and tick products. These are just brief examples of what we carry here, but I'm going to try to give you a broad overview of what is available and some of the pros and cons of each of those products.
Do Shampoos and Flea and Tick Collars Work For Flea Prevention?
First, we'll start with the things I don't use or recommend all that often. Nothing against shampoos...they work fairly well. They are not much of a preventative, though. So, if you use a shampoo, you're probably going to kill whatever fleas are there on the spot, but you will not kill their larvae and eggs spread in the surrounding areas. So, don't be surprised if you do a shampoo, and a couple of days later, you're seeing live fleas again. That's kind of the nature of the beast on this one.
Number two, tick and/or flea collars—some of these are decent. I don't use them very often because I have these flea preventions here, which I'll get to in a second. But you have things like Seresto—it's a good one that claims to last eight months.
Are There Over-the-Counter Flea Preventive Meds That Work?
You have another one called Preventic that is a little bit better on ticks as the name would imply. And then, there are certain over-the-counter products. I know Hartz makes some, but I don't know if they're worth the packaging that they're in, in my honest opinion.
Also, use a lot of caution if you're using over-the-counter products like that that are labeled for dogs. Be very careful if you're going to try to use things like that on a cat. In fact, let me be more clear. Do NOT use a product that is labeled for a dog on a cat. You will not have that cat for very long or, if you will, you will be in a vet clinic in very short order.
Do Flea Topicals Work?
You have products like Advantage and Frontline. You have 100 different generics of those now because the patent is up. What else am I missing? There was Vectra 3D if it's still out there. I haven't seen it in years. Most of your topicals, they do work, and most of them last for only a month. I would say a month. But you have to be careful about how often you bathe and what you bathe with.
All of the topicals are going to spread in the oil layer of a dog's coat. When you bathe them with a soap-based shampoo, guess what you're taking off?! You're taking off the oils on their skin, and guess what lives in those oils? The flea medicine. So be careful. I'm not telling you that they don't work because they do work, but use a soap-free shampoo if you are going to be using those.
What Flea and Tick Medications Do We Recommend?
Last but not least, Bravecto and Simparica—these are the two that I carry here. There is a whole class of medications that include things like Bravecto, Simparica, and Nexgard. These guys, how they work—they are orally administered, and they last for, in most of those cases like Simparica and Nexgard, they last for 30 days. They kill fleas and ticks. They kill them very well. They also kill them very, very quickly. So these are great products to use for dogs that are allergic to fleas. This next product here, Bravecto, is probably my biggest go-to, and the simple reason why is because it's convenient. Everybody wants easy. This one lasts for 90 days. It gets fleas and ticks. You give it orally with a full meal, and it will kill and/or prevent fleas and ticks for 90 days. Let me be clear. When I say prevent, nothing is a force field. Nothing is going to stop a flea or even a tick for that matter from getting on your pet but, when they do, these products normally start working to kill fleas and/or ticks within hours of them getting on the pet.
So that is kind of it in a nutshell, guys. If you have any questions, reach out to us at the office. I can answer any questions you may have!
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